What do these 12 organizations have in common?
- Adobe Systems
- Bank of America
- Chase Credit Card Services
- Home Depot
- Nationwide Mutual Insurance
- T.J. Maxx
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
They are a sampling of the longer list of organizations that have experienced a malevolent cybersecurity event in which over one million data records were compromised. In some cases, the compromised records numbered over 100 million.
Isn’t it about time we closed and fixed the barn door? Consumers and business leaders are (or should be) getting fed up. Ken Chenault (American Express CEO) summarizes the grave need (Charlie Rose, “Charlie Rose Talks To . . . Ken Chenault” Bloomberg Businessweek, 12/29/14–1/11/15, p. 23):
“Cybersecurity and hacking is the major modern-day threat we’re dealing with. It impacts national security; it impacts the economy. . . . Of the companies that have been breached, 75 percent didn’t know. They found out through a third party. There has to be a far greater level of cooperation between the private and public sectors, because this is a fundamental threat to the safety of the world.”
The enhanced cybersecurity strategies, the free credit-protection and identity-protection services, and the public apologies are all good. However, they are still not closing and fixing the barn door. That work remains to be done, I’m afraid. Nevertheless, this is an area where we cannot simply try to do better; we simply must do better.